1 /ded/ adjective (no comparative) NO LONGER ALIVE OR EXISTING
1 no longer alive: Her mother had been dead for ten years. | dead leaves | dead body (=the body of a person who has died) | dead as a doornail/stone dead informal (=completely dead with no signs of life at all) | drop dead (=die suddenly when no-one expects it): 37 years old, no health problems, and he just dropped dead at work!
—compare live 2 (1)
2 the dead people who have died, especially people who have been killed: There wasn't even time to bury the dead.
3 rise from the dead/come back from the dead according to Christian beliefs, to become alive again after dying
4 dead battery/engine etc an engine etc that no longer works because it has no electricity
5 TELEPHONES ETC a telephone line, radio etc that is dead is not working and makes no sound when you try to use it: All the lines out of town are dead. | go dead: Suddenly the radio went dead.
6 arm/leg etc a part of your body that is dead has no feeling in it: go dead: When I got up my leg had gone totally dead.
7 NO EMOTION showing no emotion or sympathy: Jennie's eyes were cold and dead.
(+to): dead to all feelings of compassion
8 TIRED spoken very tired: I can't go out tonight. I'm absolutely dead!
9 dead to the world very deeply asleep or unconscious: Better leave Craig - he's dead to the world.
10 BORING a town that is dead is boring because nothing interesting or exciting happens there, and there is nothing interesting to do: This place is dead after nine o'clock.
11 IDEA/SUBJECT dead and buried an argument, problem, plan etc that is dead and buried is not worth considering again: You're talking as if the issue of low pay is dead and buried.
12 a dead duck informal a plan, idea etc that is not worth considering because it is very likely to fail
13 be a dead loss informal to be completely useless: That building firm's a dead loss.
14 dead as a dodo no longer important or useful, and no longer having any influence: The extreme Right of this country is as dead as a dodo.
15 drop dead spoken used to rudely and angrily tell someone to go away and leave you alone
16 over my dead body spoken used to say that you are determined not to allow something to happen: You'll marry him over my dead body!
17 I wouldn't be seen/caught dead spoken used to say that you would never wear particular clothes, go to particular places, or do particular things, because you would feel embarrassed
(+ in/on/with etc): I wouldn't be seen dead in a dress like that!
18 be in dead trouble BrE spoken to be in serious trouble: You'll be in dead trouble if your Dad finds out.
19 dead from the neck up BrE spoken very stupid
20 LANGUAGE a dead language is no longer used by ordinary people: What's the point of learning a dead language like Latin?
—opposite living 1 (6)
21 the dead centre the exact centre
22 GLASS/BOTTLE BrE informal a glass etc that is dead is no longer being used
23 dead silence complete silence: Everyone stood and waited in dead silence.
24 PLANET a dead planet (1) has no life on it
25 IN SPORT when the ball is dead in some games it is no longer on the playing area
26 a dead cert BrE spoken something that is definitely going to happen or is definitely going to win a race
27 in a dead faint completely unconscious
28 dead ringer someone who looks exactly like someone else: Dave's a dead ringer for Paul McCartney.
29 dead weight something that is very heavy and difficult to carry: The boy was unconscious, a dead weight.
30 dead wood the people or things within an organization that are useless or no longer needed
31 more dead than alive in a very weak physical condition: They were more dead than alive when they were airlifted off the ice.
— deadness noun (U) 2 adverb
1 Br E informal completely: Ben's dead against coming with us.
2 BrE spoken very: He was dead good-looking.
3 (+ adj/adv) informal directly or exactly: dead ahead/in front/at etc: I stared dead ahead at the doorway. | dead on time informal (=exactly at a particular time or the arranged time): The bus arrived dead on time.
4 dead beat informal very tired: I can't go any further - I'm dead beat.
3 noun the dead of night/winter the middle of the night or the middle of the winter

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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